A bomb attack Tuesday in the northeastern city of Sitra, Bahrain killed two police officers and wounded six others. The explosives used were similar to explosives, allegedly originating from Iran, that were captured over the weekend by Bahraini authorities, raising suspicions that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) may have been involved.
This attack came just two days after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called Bahraini allegations of Iranian involvement in the small island nation’s internal affairs “baseless,” and three days after Bahrain foiled the third Iran-backed terror plot in two months and recalled its ambassador from Tehran. Ties between Iran and Bahrain have been further strained since a televised speech in which Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei promised to continue supporting its proxies in Bahrain after the signing of a nuclear agreement with world powers. Bahraini officials are also concerned about the Iranian government’s claim that Bahrain is “Iran’s 14th province.”
Iran and the IRGC stand to gain financially from the recent deal signed between the Islamic Republic and world powers, which will unfreeze $150 billion in Iranian assets almost immediately. It is feared that this windfall will allow Iran to provide a surge of funding to its destabilizing proxies across the Middle East, including Saraya al-Ashtar in Bahrain, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, the Houthis in Yemen, and Hezbollah in Lebanon, along with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria and Shiite militias, known as Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs), in Iraq.
[Photo: Allan Donque / Flickr ]